Factors to Consider When Remodelling Public Restrooms

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One of the most important parts of every building is the restroom since it is being used almost every minute. Restrooms, particularly public ones, must be clean and presentable. Some commercial buildings even go all out when it comes to the design and materials used in their restrooms, as they understand that restrooms are also a reflection of their core values. For instance, you may have noticed the increasing usage of modern materials, such as glass surfaces and wall panels for bathrooms in New Zealand. Before you start remodelling or building the restrooms for a commercial establishment, there are some factors you need to consider.

The country’s building code

The building code requires every commercial building to have restrooms, and not just any number or type of restroom. For a coffee shop with an area of 500 square meters, for instance, the government’s online toilet calculator indicates that there is a need for one toilet facility for each gender, three pans and two basins for the females, and five pans and three basins for the male restroom.

There are also other options, such as adding urinals for the male restroom or including unisex facilities. Whatever option you choose, make sure you adhere to the requirements as indicated in the Acceptable Solutions and Verification Methods For New Zealand Building Code, particularly Clause G1 Personal Hygiene.

Number of occupants

The number of occupants in a particular building is also an important consideration, and it is one of the variables when you use the toilet calculator mentioned above. Of course, it can be difficult to determine the number of occupants for some buildings, such as shopping malls and transport terminals, but you can base your calculation on estimates.

The size and number of a coffee shop’s restrooms will differ from that of a large shopping mall since the number of people expected to use the bathrooms will also differ. If the number of people is unknown, this is where occupant density and the floor area come in.

Initial Cost vs. Maintenance Cost

Using a calculatorWhen you design the bathroom and choose the materials for it, one important consideration is the budget. However, an equally essential factor is the cost of maintaining such bathroom materials. You may decide to use materials that can save you money when building the restroom, but these materials may be more costly to maintain. On the other hand, there are materials and designs that have an expensive price tag, but the maintenance cost is considerably lower and, therefore, can save you more money in the long run.

When remodelling public restrooms or even personal bathrooms, don’t just think about the initial cost. Rather, consider the cost of maintaining them as well. Aside from the type of materials, another factor that will allow you to save on cost is the design. One example is having more urinals than toilets in the men’s restroom.


Restrooms must be durable, of course, in order for it to be cost-effective. Building owners naturally want the bathrooms to last long, but the question is how long? If you are planning to renovate restrooms every few years, it may be wise to use materials such as wood, which is still durable but will easily be replaceable when the scheduled renovation arrives. However, if you want maximum longevity, HDPE (high-density polyethylene) materials or metals are great options.

There are so many things to consider when remodelling public restrooms. If these factors are seriously addressed, the result will be high-quality, low-maintenance restrooms that will be enjoyed by building occupants and guests.

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